There you sit, surveying your boxes of old photos. Snapshots of your family. Snapshots on vacation. Snapshots of tourist attractions. But they’re all snapshots.
Then the professional photos in some magazine or newspaper hit you. There’s the brilliant close-up of a ladybug on a leaf, with the bushes in the background gently out of focus. There’s the amazing shot of the soccer player butting the ball with his head, frozen in action so completely that you can see individual flecks of sweat flying from his hair. There’s the incredible shot of the city lights at night, with car taillights drawing colorful firefly tracks across the frame.
You can’t help but wonder: “How do they do that? And why can’t I do it too?”
Actually, you probably can. Some of these special shots require special gear, but most of them involve nothing more than good technique—and knowing when to invoke which of your camera’s special features. With a little practice, you can take pictures just as compelling, colorful, and intimate as the shots you see in the magazines.
This chapter is dedicated to laying bare the secrets of professional photographers. May you never take another dull snapshot.
Everybody’s seen those incredible high-speed action photos of athletes frozen in mid-leap. Without these shots (and the swimsuit photos), Sports Illustrated would be no thicker than a pamphlet.
Through a combination of careful positioning, focusing, lighting, and shutter-speed ...